Does the idea of walking into a room of strangers and striking up a conversation spark fear in you?

Is it holding you back from starting the networking process? If you answered “yes,” we have some ideas for helping to break the ice. We hope one will help ease you into the process and take you through to the stage of networking natural.

Ask: What do you love most about your job or field of work? This almost gives permission to the individual you’re meeting to speak about his or her job when it’s sometimes viewed as a taboo topic to start with at a networking event. You’re opening the door and inviting that conversation, putting that topic on the table.

Ask: What have you most enjoyed about this event? This is a particularly good one when you’re meeting someone new well into the program or special event you’re both attending. Listen closely as they answer for cues to ask additional questions.

Ask: This is my first time in the area, what should I see while I’m here? Obviously a question for when you’re away from home, this is a great inquiry and invitation for someone local to get him or her to share more information about the place they call home.

Ask: Who are some of your favorite authors or influencers in your field? This could open up a conversation that could bring you inspiration for a new read, podcast to enjoy, or something else altogether where you can gain business knowledge or personal inspiration.

Ask: What’s the best advice someone ever gave you when it comes to your career? Or the worst? People enjoy sharing their perspective and experiences. This question allows the person you’re meeting to do just that. Be prepared to answer the same question though, as he or she will likely want to know how you’d respond as well.

Ask: I love your (bag, dress, tie, etc.), where did you get it? This serves as both a compliment and ice breaker. Who doesn’t love to be regarded for their good taste, after all?

Have another great suggestion? We’d love to hear it! Share it in our comment sections or come to one of our events and give it a try!

Learn more about Pagoda Business Network online at pagodabusinessassociation.com and more about Smith Enterprises Consulting LLC at smithenterprisescorp.com. We’d love to welcome you to a meeting or to help with your business.